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I recently spent a week in Moscow previewing some exciting indie games coming out of the CIS region (aka, The Commonwealth of Independent States, formed when the former Soviet Union remixed itself in the early 90s). I was struck right away by the concept of immersion, and all its layers.
I've seen the thousand yard stare that gets triggered when you start talking to a game developer about all the obstacles standing in their way. Trying to get a player through your marketing, into the install, through the tutorial or first level, and past the first month of play can feel like a horrible escort quest; there seem to be a thousand monsters waiting to take your player away, and
If you happen to be passing near Moscow this week, I suggest two things: You have some blinis (because they're amazing) You come to our talk about game preorders at DevGAMM We're discussing the big impact that the entire games industry is going to feel from the shift in how players preorder and purchase games. The AAA studios are driving significant shifts in the preorder model, and it will impact
I've tended to be a bit of a cheap gamer (with appropriate shout outs to my idol and friend Cheapy D). More than looking for great deals on the latest games, I usually just buy LAST YEAR'S amazing games, at a steep discount. Digital distribution, at least on consoles, hasn't caught up to this trend, which means I've been stuck with piles of plastic discs in my house, as a
I'm the center of the universe. Aren't you? Most people who works on games have a self-centered view. The lead artist figures the player cares the most about character designs and expansive vistas. The composer knows that players are moved first and foremost by the swell of the opening music. The multiplayer designer is certain that players couldn't care less about campaigns, and only notice well-balanced PvP.
It was 11:30pm, and I was standing in a parking lot. The sky was oddly clear for the Pacific Northwest, but the temperature had dropped below 50 degrees, and you could see mist rising from each person as they spoke. Most of us wore branded sweatshirts which weren't really designed to keep you warm, but we were caught up in the energy of the night.
For at least two decades I thought the key to winning people over was to talk persuasively. Use a firm, but cool voice, highlight supporting facts, prepare for objections. Very recently I've started to understand what my longtime friend Chris Paladino had been trying to tell me, though never in direct terms.
Do you remember what it was like to play a game? Not as a games industry insider, studying a competitor's game, or keenly critiquing your own work. Just playing a game because it was fun, and because you had nothing at stake, and because there was a ninja on the box.
I was about to hop on the Caltrain to San Francisco when I got the call. Over the metal on metal screech of the locomotive pulling into the station I could only make out the last few words, "to verify a few recent transactions". After boarding the train, I stood in the vestibule whispering for 20 minutes. It was my bank. Someone had gotten access to my debit card information